The AMS has updated its plan to compensate students for consultations with the Society.
The Compensation Policy proposes compensating students for engaging in AMS consultations. It was first brought to AMS Assembly for discussion on Sept. 24 and was returned for informal endorsement on Oct. 8 with a proposed outline.
The policy will go before the AMS Board of Directors on Oct. 26. Should the policy be passed, it will become a mandatory part of conducting AMS consultations.
“This policy is being implemented to ensure that our students’ time and labour is being properly compensated, as well as to allow all students a voice in the AMS,” Charlotte Galvani, AMS campus affairs commissioner, wrote in a statement to The Journal.
The policy is heavily based on the definition of consultation provided in the outline: “asking a specific group of students (specific population or demographic) for specific information specifically regarding a report/policy/project/etc.”
Open feedback calls and anonymous surveys won’t fall under the policy.
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The AMS hopes the policy will increase student engagement with the AMS and bring increased student voices to future AMS policies. The Society worked with other student unions, namely the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, to form the policy.
According to the outline, students “demanded” the policy to ensure the labour students put in to make their voices heard doesn’t go uncompensated by the AMS.
“The [policy] is being implemented as students have made it clear (especially after channels such as Stolen by Smith and Erased by FEAS emerged) that they were no longer comfortable moving forward with giving their time and ideas to the AMS as free labour without compensation, and we wish to honour this,” Galvani wrote.
Compensation values would range from a meal paid for by the AMS to monetary compensation. The type of consultation would determine the compensation given.
According to the outline, emotional labour—defined as “work that requires emotion management”—would be “especially fairly compensated.” Students being consulted for an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII) report, for example, would fall under this category.
The outline proposes taking the compensation budget out of the Vice-President (Operations) and President’s discretionary budget, which has been allocated $2,000. In future years, a lump sum within the Vice-President (University Affairs) budget would be allocated for compensations.
For a one-time, one-on-one consultation meeting or a one-time focus group, individual students would receive either an AMS gift card, a meal, or monetary compensation valued from $25 to $50.
For participating in a focus group with potentially recurring meetings or assignments estimated at 2-5 hours, each student would receive $75 to $100. For one estimated at 5-10 hours, they would receive $100 to $150.
For some other form of recurring assignment-based consultation, each student would receive $75 to $100.
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In the case of club consultations, the AMS plans on allowing a given club to choose their preferred form of compensation—either compensation given to each student, or a monetary grant for the club.
Both parties would sign an agreement on a specific amount of compensation and expectations for the consultation prior to the start.
Beyond compensation, any given final report, policy, or project would include an acknowledgement of the work done by students involved in the consultations during its development.
According to Galvani, the policy “seems to be received well.”
“There have been productive discussions including good feedback at AMS Assembly, and we are continuing to have many discussions about it internally.”
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